Whilst we all enjoy the thrills of an international football tournament, there is a lady who is missing out. Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian opposition leader, has been sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of poor administration of the complex energy dossier from the time she was prime minister.
The conviction has been criticised across the board with it being seen as “justice being applied selectively under political motivation” by the European Union and other international organizations. It has also led to the MPs from several EU nations boycotting the tournament. This is what David Cameron had to say on the matter:
We completely agree that the treatment of Mrs Tymoshenko, whom I have met on previous occasions, is absolutely disgraceful. The Ukrainians need to know that if they leave the situation as it is, it will severely affect their relationship not only with the UK but with the European Union.
Although it was a late call, it was positive to see Britain’s MPs boycott the tournament, given that sport rarely mixes with politics (take the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix for example). With support gathering for Tymoshenko’s release, hopefully the Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych will see sense and bow to the pressure. Here is Yulia Tymoshenko’s daughter, Yevhenia, speaking out:
Football is a sport that is universally appreciated across the world and hopefully at Euro 2012, these stars can not only hope to entertain but to shine light on an injustice to help free Yulia Tymoshenko.
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